Friendship Fiction

“Come on mom!’ I yell as I grab my little brother by the hand and tug him toward the Museum Of Natural Art. 

“Abby, wait!” Mom yells as I race towards the doors, little brother in tow. “Sandy can’t keep up.” 

I look back at little Sandy, Mom's right, his chubby toddler legs can’t run as fast as I can. I stop and wait for my three-year-old brother to catch up and then catch his breath. 

“Ready?” I ask. He nods and we run the last few steps. At the huge doors, we turn and wait for Mom.  

“Hurry up Mom!” I yell. I am super excited to see all the paintings, I can hardly control my excitement. This is the first time in all my thirteen years I have ever been to this museum. Last year my mom saved up enough money to travel to three different museums. We each picked one. This one is the one I picked. I picked it because I found out that it has Van Gogh's Starry Night. I love paintings and famous artwork, but I especially love Starry Night. My mom finally comes and stands beside us.

“Ready for your museum Abby?” She asks with a smile. 

“You bet I am!” I shout. 

Then we push through the huge glass doors. 

My mom buys the tickets. She slides the dollars over to the clerk, a teenager with silky brown hair and green eyes. Her name tag read Malisa. 

“Enjoy your visit!” She says smiling at me and Sandy. She hands Mom a map and says, “Photography is allowed, but we ask you not to share it on any social media platform, or in print. Please just keep it to remember the fun times you enjoyed with your family. She looks down at me, please wear your backpack on your chest, or carry it on your side. That way it does not bump any of the artwork. Have fun.” 

“We will thank you.” My mom says smiling at Malisa, then she turns and grins at us, ready guys?”  

“Yes!” I say loudly.” several heads turn my way. I blush, embarrassed for my outburst. “Yes,” I say more quietly. 

Mom laughs. “Come on then. Where would you like to go first?” 

I glance around for a moment, before deciding. 

“Starry Night.” 

Mom laughs again. Then she grabs the map that Malisa gave us and looks at it. Then she groans. 

“What?!” I ask, horribly afraid that it has been stolen.

“It's on the Fifth floor.” 

I stare at her. Mom starts laughing. Then I do too. 

“Mom!” I say still laughing, “I'm sure they have an elevator!” 

That makes us laugh even harder. Mom wipes her eyes. 

“Ok, let's go find one. 

It doesn't take us long to find the elevator. We go up and up and up. I am dancing with excitement by the time we get to the top. 

“Abby calm down.” Mom grumbles after I step on her feet for the second time. “You don’t need to leap and twirl in the elevator.” 

“You don’t understand.” I try to explain. Mom smiles. 

“No, I do, I'm just giving you a hard time.” 

I roll my eyes. Of course, she is. I step out of the elevator. Mom has Sandy's hand, and we slowly make our way through the gallery. Mom points different art out to Sandy and he nods and giggles. I stare straight ahead, I don't look at any of the other art lining the walls. Im focused. 

“Abby,” My mom's voice is hushed. “I found it.” 

I sprint to her side. I freeze when my eyes spot what my mother is looking at. It's beautiful. Van Gogh’s Starry Night. In all of my life, I have never felt so small as I do now, staring at one of the most famous pieces of art in history. 

“Abby.” Mom's voice is panicked. “Do you see Sandy?” 

The urgency in my voice brings me back. I dart my eyes around. All I see are paintings. And people. So many people. My head begins to pound. 

“Sandy!” I shout. I think of all the people. All the places he could get hurt. All the things he could hurt. 

“Split up.” Mom says, Meet me on the first floor in fifteen minutes, with or without your brother. 

I nod. Now that I have something to focus on, besides my three-year-old brother being missing in a giant museum, my head clears. I whip out my phone and find a picture of Sandy. I walk over to a woman with kids studying Claude Monet's Water Lilies.

“Excuse me miss.” 

The lady looks up and smiles. 

“How can I help you?” 

“My little brother, Sandy.” I take a deep breath and continue. “He wandered off and I can’t find him. Have you seen him?” I hold out my phone with his picture.

“I'm so sorry dear. I haven't.” 

I close my eyes. I refuse to let desperation take control.

“Thank you anyway,” I say, then I turn to the next person, and the next, and the next. The answers are all the same. Or they all mean the same thing anyway. 

“No, sorry, I wish, and I’ll keep my eyes peeled.” I glance down at my phone. 3:25. It has almost been fifteen minutes. I move faster, faster, faster.

3:27. I get in the elevator and punch the level one button. Down I go. I hope Mom found him. In my gut, I know she hasn't. 

“Abby!” My mom's voice carries to me from across the ground level. The hope in her eyes disappears when she sees that Sandy is not with me. 

“Keep looking, meet me here again in fifteen more minutes.” I nod, and race for the stairs. My Mom takes the elevator. I read top gasping. My eyes hurriedly fly around all of the fifth floor that I can see. No, Sandy. Wait…I spot a tiny pair of toddler's legs. I push my backpack full of heavy books onto my shoulders. I don’t care about the museum's dumb rule anymore. I race at full speed towards my brother. My backpack swings into people as I run. 

“Sorry,” I shout as I hurtle past. “Sandy!” 

He hears my voice and stops, but I am going too fast to stop. I almost crash into him, but I turn last minute. My stupid backpack slams into a painting, I turn around to see if it's ok. Starry Nights' frame is shattered, and glass shards have shredded the once beautiful canvas. 

“No.” I gasp. A security guard rushes up to me. My Mom is behind him. 

“Miss, is this your daughter?” 

I don’t know what the guard told my mother, or what she said back, but I remember leaving the museum. Getting in our car and driving back to our hotel. I remember Mom looking through the little notebook where she keeps track of all of our money. I remember her putting her head into her hands. 


My Mothers's eyes are red and puffy as she looks up at me. 

“Yes, honey?” 

“How much trouble am I in?” 

“Oh, darling.” She reaches for me and I fall into her arms. “You're not in trouble, but I won’t be able to give you your allowance for a while.” 

“Are we broke?” They are small words, and yet, they feel huge.  

“No, but I have to put all extra money aside to pay for Starry Night, and it's going to take a while, but you are strong, I know that you will be ok. We all will. We just will have to get used to only buying things we need, and that will be hard. But we can do that.” 

I nod. I know that things will be hard, but I have my Mom, and my brother, and as long as I have them, I know everything is going to be ok.  

The End   

March 20, 2024 00:14

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Mary Bendickson
06:07 Mar 20, 2024

Oops! At least she found her brother.


Kaelyn Klaus
03:35 Mar 30, 2024



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